Blood Pressure BasicsWith every heartbeat, blood flows from your heart to the rest of your body through your arteries. Blood pressure is the force of that blood pushing against your artery walls. Blood pressure is at its highest during a beat. This is called systolic pressure. In between beats, when the heart is at rest, pressure falls. This is your diastolic pressure. These two numbers make up your blood pressure reading, expressed as systolic over diastolic (for example, 120/80 mmHg). Your blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day. If it stays high for too long, though, the constant force on your arteries can create microscopic tears. These tears can turn into scar tissue, providing the perfect lodging place for fat, cholesterol, and other particles—collectively called plaque. Buildup of plaque narrows the arteries, which requires your heart to work extra hard to push blood through. This can ultimately result in heart disease, stroke, hardened arteries (atherosclerosis), kidney damage, and various other problems. By and large, hypertension is a lifestyle disease. Don’t get me wrong…there are factors you can’t control, such as genetics, age, and race (African Americans have higher risk). But for the most part, you can blame bad diet, lack of exercise, poor sleep habits, uncontrolled stress, smoking, excessive drinking
A Silent Killer That Must Be TreatedNo matter your age, race, or sex, untreated hypertension is a ticking time bomb. Most people experience no symptoms, so you may have high blood pressure and not know it. Eventually, it will hurt you…possibly even kill you. This is why you have to treat it right away. Like so many diseases, the pharmaceutical industry has turned hypertension into a condition that can be managed by taking pills, rather cured through lifestyle changes. Common blood pressure meds don’t solve the root causes of hypertension and have terrible side effects (including dizziness, headaches, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and heart arrhythmia). Not worth it, in my opinion. Especially when you can lower your blood pressure naturally and without side effects. Here’s how you do just that.
Natural Blood Pressure SolutionsI’ve lost count of how many patients have been able to successfully wean themselves off of their medications—and more importantly, get their blood pressure totally under control—with these lifestyle changes, which are natural remedies for high blood pressure. Some are simpler than others, but they’re all equally important. Put an end to bad habits.
- Nattokinase (derived from fermented soy beans) improves blood pressure by preventing the hardening of blood vessels and aiding in the breakdown of a clotting agent called fibrin. This inhibits abnormal thickening of blood.
- Grape seed extract opens up the blood vessels, allowing for smoother blood flow. Studies have found that it can significantly reduce systolic pressure and heart rate.
- Hawthorn contains antioxidant flavonoids that help dilate blood vessels and protect the arteries from damage. Research shows it may reduce diastolic blood pressure.
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids combat inflammation, lower blood pressure, and enhance heart health. They also act as natural blood thinners.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) protects the heart in many ways. It prevents inflammation and oxidative damage in the arteries. In addition, one study found that it has the potential to lessen systolic pressure by up to 17 mmHg and diastolic pressure by as much as 10 mmHg without major side effects.